BY SHANNON RABOTSKI
Since its establishment in 1986, Drake University Student Senate’s goal has been to represent the University and bring forward the concerns and opinions of students. Each spring, a campus-wide election is held in which students vote for executive officers, academic senators, senators-at-large and equity and inclusion senators.
This spring, students elected Nathan Paulsen as the 2017-2018 student body president.
Paulsen is a junior studying economics and political science. As student body president, he said he hopes to make use of the President’s Panel, a committee consisting of representatives from every major organization on campus that meets monthly. Paulsen said he would like to have the President’s Panel meet biweekly in order to make a “campus calendar” consisting of every event happening on campus each day. The calendar is intended to aid not only in showing students what is going on, but also to help encourage more collaboration between organizations on campus.
Paulsen grew up in Durant, a small town in eastern Iowa about two hours from Drake. He’s the oldest brother to three sisters. Living in a small town with a population of under 2,000, Paulsen and his friends found ways to entertain themselves. Paulsen recalled visits to the World’s Largest Truck Stop on Interstate Highway 80 for ice cream, meals or just to hang out. In true Drake spirit, Paulsen said he considers himself a dog person, and his favorite color is Drake Blue.
Throughout Paulsen’s life, two things have remained true: his love for politics and his love for the Chicago Cubs. Paulsen’s interest in politics developed during the 2008 election when he realized how important politics are in everyday life.
“At that time, it was a lot of ‘Well, my parents said this,’ and I always wanted to know more,” Paulsen said.
He said he would get talking points from the news and try to soak in as much information as he could.
Today, Paulsen considers himself an Independent.
“In this role, everything needs to be seen through an independent lens,” Paulsen said.
Outside of politics, Paulsen’s hobbies include working out, playing ping-pong, and engaging in his social fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon by hosting events and occupying leadership roles.
Above all, Paulsen said he wants students to speak up when they have suggestions or comments for Student Senate.
“They should reach out,” Paulsen said. “I consider myself a very genuine person. If there’s ever a hesitation to reach out, or they think that their ideas aren’t right or that they’re kind of lame or stupid, that’s not the case.
“Everything can be at least looked at or evaluated, and I’m going to genuinely go through every person’s emails and actually sort out what can we do and what can we not do, and let them know that I’m going to be honest with them. I’m not going to give them a bunch of answers that doesn’t give them an answer.”